Showing posts from July, 2014

BigTrial's Anastasia Writes Book that Demystifies "Gotti Legend"

Image From the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Honor and The Last Gangster—“one of the most respected crime reporters in the country” (60 Minutes)—comes the sure to be headline-making inside story of the Gotti and Gambino families, told from the unique viewpoint of notorious mob hit-man John Alite, a close associate of Junior Gotti who later testified against him.

In Gotti's Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty years covering crime, offers a shocking and very rare glimpse into the Gotti family, witnessed up-close from former family insider John Alite, John Gotti Jr.’s longtime friend and protector. Until now, no one has given up the kind of personal details about the Gottis—including the legendary “Gotti Rules” of leadership—that Anastasia exposes here.

Isgro, Veteran of Payola Probe, Faces NY Gambling Case

Cosa Nostra News was the first to break this story on Joe Isgro...

Houston Chronicle: "He's been one of the nation's most influential record promoters, the producer of an Oscar-nominated movie, a defendant who successfully fought racketeering charges in a high-profile payola case, and an admitted loan shark who shook down borrowers in ritzy Beverly Hills.

Now the roller-coaster life of Joe Isgro is taking another plunge, with new charges that he helped run a mob-linked gambling operation.

Isgro, who once helped get airplay for songs by such stars as Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson, pleaded not guilty to gambling, conspiracy and money laundering charges Wednesday in New York City. He for years has denied any connection to organized crime.

Michael Franzese's "God the Father" Coming Soon

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GOD THE FATHER takes us on an ‘untold’ personal journey of Michael Franzese, a young and charismatic Capo in the Colombo Mafia during the 1980‘s-90‘s and who’s notorious father Sonny Franzese was also a renowned Underboss.

Off-shore Website Was Front for Mafia Bookmaking

Two New Jersey men today admitted to conspiring with the Genovese organized crime family in an illegal sports betting website, said federal prosecutors.

The group was arrested in May 2012.

Joseph “Joe Graz” Graziano , 77, and Dominick "Harpo" Barone, 44, each pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in U.S. District Court in Newark. Both face sentences of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when they are sentenced in November.

The scheme involved a website, which they called “the office,” that was based off-shore in Costa Rica, which reportedly plays host to scores of legal gambling sites.

Where the Mob Once Found Its Members

The Mafia has always recruited from the streets. Both Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino in the 1950s enlisted soldiers in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn from a Brooklyn street gang called the Jackson Gents.

Interestingly these street gangs are still around today, while groups like the Purple Gang and the Bath Avenue Crew, Italian mob-affiliated gangs that more closely resemble the Mafia and were considered farm teams, seem to have died out.

Overall, however, the street gangs today are working as partners with the Mafia, which is more strict about recruitment, having the mindset that blood trumps everything else. The Colombo family, in particular, was ahead of the curve in that they have long relied on blood-family relations for members more than anything else.

But it wasn't always that way. Used to be the Mafia recruited from street gangs -- teenagers running around in leather jackets, their hair greased back into a duck's ass, their thick-soled boots thundering along the…

Twists in the Road for Cosa Nostra News

Well, I've finally done it.

I went and accepted a full-time position. 
I had been getting along nicely, but then lost a freelance client. I couldn't replace them, so I had to go "legit" and accept a full-time position in Manhattan.
I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to having lunch with my friend Nikki, too!
Anyway, I am going to be posting less as a result. I know, this news probably gladdens my critics, but as I say, as much as I enjoy praise, it is the critics who make you better.
No more three-to-five stories a day.... I am not, however, throwing in the towel. I will write for this blog probably until the day I die, of old age or a mob hit if I finally piss them off too much.

Who's This Babe? Wouldn't You Like to Know...

Who's the babe?
You can read all about her on my sister site, Requiem for an Editor, which is actually my first blog.
It evolved into this blog, which, of course, focuses on Cosa Nostra in America, as well as in Canada -- all three Mafias in fact (Cosa Nostra, the Ndrangheta and the Camorra) and related organized crime groups across the globe.

Requiem is where I write about everything else.
The "everything else" category includes stories on Evelyn McHale -- read why she is called the most beautiful suicide case ever -- and "Revenge Porn," the key promulgator of which is Tor, an anonymizing web browser that provides a safe way for you to enter and navigate the “dark net."

Hey, what else do you think I would write about?

Anthony Spero Bred Pigeons and Gangsters

Anthony Spero, former consiglieri/acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, died nearly six years ago.

The once-supremely powerful "Old Man" of the American Mafia was 79 when he passed, a guest of the Federal Medical Center of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.

Spero lived it, walked it, talked it, breathed it. The only thing that may have captivated him as much as "the life" were his pigeons. That and frying chicken cutlets in the back of his club on Bath Avenue in Bath Beach, Brooklyn. He also ran the Big Apple Car, a limo service.

He spent near-uninterrupted decades on the street before finally going away for life in 2002 on racketeering and murder charges in a case considered surprisingly circumstantial in that no direct testimony against him was ever offered.

According to the book "Mob Boss," about Al D'Arco's life in the Luchese family, it was noted that while serving as acting boss of the Bonanno family, Spero made a …

Murderous Mob Turncoats Will Come to Light

Angela Clemente, a forensic analyst who spent the past 15 years researching the FBI's relationship with mob turncoats, told Cosa Nostra News that she's been able to prove that the FBI "positively" knew that two of its informants, Colombo capo Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa and soldier Frank "Frankie Blue Eyes" Sparaco, were committing murders while on the Feds' payroll.

Clemente knows this because the two ratted on each other.

We spoke with Clemente after learning that she'd won her second lawsuit against the FBI.

This time, the ruling regards the pace of access to classified documents regarding alleged systemic corruption between FBI agents and Scarpa, as well as other mob turncoats.

Who's the Luchese Boss? Still Vic Amuso

GangLandNews reported that Vittorio "Vic" Amuso, whose reign atop one of New York's Five Crime Families was one of the Mafia's bloodiest and most violent, did not lose his crown in 1992, as originally reported.

He's been boss all along, even following his 1992 trial and conviction. (Amuso was called the "Deadly Don" by Assistant United States Attorney Charles Rose. Amuso faced 54 counts related to loan-sharking, extortion, racketeering and narcotics dealing -- plus nine murders.)

Age 79, he's serving life in prison at Cumberland FCI.

Amuso initially ran the Luchese crime family with (and was somewhat overshadowed by) former underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso, who is serving life in prison following a failed bid to flip.

Joe Isgro Pinched in Los Angeles

UPDATED: Academy Award-nominated producer, Purple Heart veteran and reputed Gambino soldier Joseph Isgro was picked up in Los Angeles last week on gambling charges, sources in Los Angeles confirmed for this blog.

He was arrested on July 18 by LAPD detectives and was being held in the Valley jail in Van Nuys. He will be brought to New York to face gambling-related charges that are close to reaching the statute of limitations.

One source told us:

They're supposed to have two NY detectives pick up Joe in L.A tomorrow and transport him to NY by commercial airline. It was good of them because if they'd brought him to NY on Friday he would have had to spend the weekend in Rikers. Now he will stay overnight at the Tombs and post surety bond when he gets to court the next day.

Mob Club or Just a Social Club?

We don't see many members-only clubs these days and are wondering how many are still around.

This one on Hempstead Blvd. in Elmont is so blatant with the signs and old guys speaking Italian that we gotta admit, we're curious.

What the hell is it?

Jimmy Cosmo Gets Ready to Pay the Piper

Back in mid-January of last year we reported about an alliance among the Canadian and American Mafia, outlaw bikers and a Mexican drug cartel that supplied New York City with nearly a billion dollars in marijuana.

Running the group was French Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer, who was busted following a five-year probe by the DEA and police from Laval, Quebec, where Cournoyer once lived.

The drug alliance included a partnership between Bonanno associate John "Big Man" Venizelos and Jimmy “Cosmo” to form a $2 million “hit” fund so the group could quickly hire hitters to murder snitches.

Jimmy Cosmo faces sentencing in New York next month on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.

PBS Theory Links Hoffa, Giancana, Rosselli Hits

Did Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran kill Hoffa?

As one journalist noted: Sheeran's "deathbed confession" is still the most believable theory ever to come to light.

“History Detectives Special Investigations,” “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” -- which ran recently this week -- purported to take a fresh look at the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa, the former head of the Teamsters union who vanished from the face of the earth on July 30, 1975.

It was the perfect mob hit and a high-profile public figure, too.

Judge's Call to Mother Marked Him for Mafia Hit

The Sicilian Mafia listened to the telephone calls of judge Paolo Borsellino before slaying him, gaining vital intelligence that assisted them in committing the hit in July 1992.

This is based on a conversation mob boss Totò Riina had with a fellow prison inmate that was recorded by the authorities, Reuters sources said.

Borsellino and five of his security officers were killed by a car bomb near his mother's house.

Bonannos, Standing Firm, Reject Prosecution's Deal

Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora turned down a plea deal for 7-to-21 years in prison Wednesday in exchange for copping to a top count of enterprise corruption. The offer shaves about a year off the minimum term he’d face if convicted at trial on that charge.

Prosecutors also offered Anthony “Skinny” Santoro 9-to-18 years behind bars, the longest term after Santora, which his lawyer said he also wouldn’t accept, noting: “It’s ridiculous, it was a non-violent gambling offense."

Santora and eight associates were busted last August for a variety of mob rackets.

Chicago Outfit Members Arrested for Robbing Cartel Stash Houses

Members of a drug-dealing street crew tied to Chicago’s Outfit got their product by posing as police officers to gain access to Mexican Cartel stash houses, which the mobsters then pilfered for drugs.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Mafia crew consisted of four men who are part of the Panozzo-Koroluk Street Crew. The men were known to utilize violent methods, once slicing off the ear of a reported cartel member who lied to them during one robbery.

The Outfit-tied crew members were arrested Thursday after investigators set up a sting operation in Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood.

Robert Panozzo, 54, Paul Koroluk, 55, and Maher Abuhabsah, 33, and Panozzo’s 22-year-old son, Robert Panozzo, Jr., were held without bail in Cook County bond court Saturday.

Milwaukee Phil Drove a "Hitmobile" Too

A recent story about the killing machine on wheels discovered in New Orleans, the one driven by the son of the underboss of the Marcello crime family that several law enforcement officials insisted no longer exists, reminded us of something we'd come across in our general story research.

Another mobster had also retrofitted a vehicle for killing a lot of people. His name?
Felix "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio (1912-1971) was one of the Chicago Outfit's most feared hitmen.Originally from New York, he moved to Chicago when he was still a child. As a teenager, he moved to Milwaukee where he fought as a boxer under the name of "Milwaukee Phil". .

He's said to have taken out 13 or 14 fellow mobsters deemed unworthy of breathing.

Murder Mobile Tied to Old Mafia Family

A 1998 Ford pulled over for a traffic stop one night in early May in Old Metairie, a major part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, may have opened a can of worms for law enforcement officials in the region.
That is because it seems to indicate a Mafia family, considered long dead, may in fact be quite active.The van, which had stolen license plates, was driven by two men, one of whom was the son of the former underboss of the Carlos Marcello family.
When Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies pulled the van over, they quickly discovered a disturbing scene in back. They had stumbled upon a virtual killing machine.

Leonetti Blames the Father for the Son's Crimes

Leonetti Rips Uncle, Says Cousin Didn't Have A Chance | Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog: "The younger Scarfo never had a chance, said his cousin, mobster-turned-government witness Philip Leonetti.

"He's really not a gangster," Leonetti, 61, said in a telephone interview with Bigtrial this week. "His father had him under his spell...I used to tell him, 'Nicky, get away from these guys.' And when he was talking to me, he would agree' But then he would talk to his father and..."

The words trail off, but the point is clear. Leonetti, the one-time underboss of the Scarfo crime family, followed his cousin's trial from afar.

Detroit Mob Boss Jack Tocco Dies

Jack Tocco  pleaded for mercy -- perhaps for the first time in his life.

“My wife’s life and my life have been destroyed,” he said . “I would like the privilege of dying at home with my family.”

Tocco wasn't facing one of the hit men like the type he himself had probably ordered over his decades-long run as a mob boss. He was facing a judge in federal court in December 2003.

It was sentencing time for being convicted for running Detroit’s Mafia for 30 years.

Mob Book "Undercover Cop" Not Entirely Accurate...

By Dan Goldberg | The Star-Ledger

As an undercover New Jersey state trooper, Mike Russell says he infiltrated the mob and brought down dozens of wiseguys, all after taking a .32-caliber bullet to the head. It is quite the tale told in “Undercover Cop: How I Brought Down the Real-Life Sopranos,” which was released Aug. 6.
Publisher’s Weekly gave it a glowing review, writing, “This tell-all page-turner is all the better for being true.”

Except it’s not entirely true. Some important facts are at best stretched, at worst fabricated.

If Uncle Joe Retires What Happens in Philadelphia?

Joe Ligambi, who recently got out of prison following two mistrials for what primarily amounted to gambling-related charges, says that he is done, finito, with Cosa Nostra.

Ligambi wants to relax, to summer in Longport and winter in Florida.

Anyone in Ligambi's position would say the same thing, but the question is, does he really meant it?

And if he does, who will step in and take over? Too many wiseguys, if history is taken into consideration.

Does It Matter Who's Boss in Philly?

George Borgesi, 50, is trying to take the big seat, a source told Cosa Nostra News, but he is facing pressure from allies of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.

Borgesi ain't no Joe Ligambi would be an understatement; the two (Uncle Joe really is Borgesi's uncle) don't like each other. Skinny Joey doesn't like Borgesi, either.

And as the troubled, fracture Philly mob prepares to evolve (likely not for the better), other ethnic crime groups, including one considered a threat to national security, are vying for power.

"Georgie Boy" has nevertheless been trying to assert himself -- and one person telling him to stop is Skinny Joey, through his viceroys on the street: Stevie Mazzone and John "Johnny Chang" Ciancaglini, both of whom are from the tough South Philadelphia faction.

Drunken Monkey Slugger Pleads Not Guilty; More Blog Buzz for DiMichele

The man accused of fatally punching another man outside the Drunken Money in West Brighton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today for manslaughter and other charges.
The bar was made famous based on its affiliation to Big Ang Raiola, one of the stars of the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives."

Stephen Fasano, 23, punched Abdou Cisse, 46, in the head, knocking him to the ground, and cracking his skull on June 8 outside the Drunken Monkey bar, said authorities.

Cisse was trying to calm down Fasano outside the bar, and Fasano responded by punching him twice in the face — not once, as initially reported by police.

What Followed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Cosa Nostra News is pleased to present the following story by author Chriss Lyon, who wrote the true crime book "A Killing in Capone's Playground."

Everyone has heard of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the 1929 slaughter of seven associates of the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran during the Prohibition Era.

Not many are aware of the events that followed, however, which exposed small town America to the inner workings of big city brutality.

Judge Block Decides Patsy Was Indeed a "Patsy"

As Jerry Capeci reported a few weeks ago on, a guilty Florida-based Colombo crime family associate facing two years in prison for money laundering got off with no prison time.

The Colombo associate can thank, of all people, the judge.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederick Block decided that Patsy Truglia, who was convicted for participating in a money laundering scheme with his crime family's consigliere, was really a "patsy" in the case.

The Colombo consiglieri, Thomas Farese, was arrested around 6 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2012, by FBI agents in south Florida, where he lives, officials said. He had just been promoted to his new post around that time.

Canadian Hit Man Ken Murdock Paroled

Canadian hit man Kenneth Murdock is out on parole, the National Post's Adrian Humphreys has reported.

Murdock played a pivotal role in mob politics in the Hamilton area of Toronto, where he was sentenced to "life" for killing mob boss Johnny "Pops" Papalia and two of his close associates on the orders of his long time employers, the Musitano crime family, one of three key crime families in the Hamilton region. The other two were the Luppinos and Papalias.
According to Murdock himself, shortly after the hit on Johnny Papalia in 1996, the Musitanos had considered taking out the three brothers who together ran the Luppino family, presumably in a move to dominate Hamilton, a key city in the Ontario province in terms of historical organized crime.
At the time, the Musitanos were backed by Vito Rizzuto, who also would eventually make a move from Montreal to take over Southern Ontario.

PBS Analyzes Mob Boss's Role in Case of Hoffa Disappearance

2015 Update: Get ready to get sick of Jimmy Hoffa. The 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the notorious mobbed-up former Teamsters boss swiftly approaches...

Citizens' Voice: "New light is shed on the old mystery in an episode of “History Detectives Special Investigations,” “Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?” which aired on July 22 on PBS and its affiliates.

Hoffa, the former head of the Teamsters union, vanished from the face of the earth on July 30, 1975. No trace of him has ever come to light.

The History Detectives’ investigation focuses on who killed Hoffa and why.

The who is most likely hit man Frank Sheeran, who did so at the directive of Kingston-based mafia boss Russell Bufalino, according to some experts.

Today in '72: Sinatra Made Explosive Performance for House Committee

On July 19, 1972: Frank Sinatra burst into the House Crime Committee pursued by a pack of photographers and television cameramen and denounced it for a character assassination.

"I am not a second-class citizen – let's make that clear," said the singer angrily in an opening statement made when he was flanked by his lawyer. "How do you repair the damage that has been done to my reputation by a second-class punk?"

Sinatra had been asked to appear to explain why he had invested $55,000 in the Mafia-controlled Berkshire Downs racetrack.

The Crime Committee had threatened to subpoena Sinatra to appear and was also interested in the Rat Pack leader's response to Joseph "The Baron" Barboza's allegations that the singer had business dealings with Raymond Patriarca, whom the Crime Committee had named a "New England organised crime figure."

Veteran British Newscaster Explores American Mafia

What is interesting about this upcoming show is that they contacted yours truly to meet with them (the production team). 

They never followed through and called me when they were in New York, but I've heard over the months from various guys who are starring on the show. One in particular told me he was the sole focus of the show, which is not true. I did learn quite a bit from that piece of business, however....

From York Press: "Sir Trevor McDonald is set to take on the Mafia in a new ITV documentary.

The veteran broadcaster wants to show viewers the "reality" and not the "mythology" of the Mob in the show.

Trevor will look at the day-to-day lives of men within the secret crime organisation as well as undercover law enforcement figures, the Radio Times reported.

Renee's "Gruesome Ass Renovation" Brings New Fan...

Image ""Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano got worked over HARD by a plastic surgeon -- while wide awake -- all in the pursuit of the perfect butt, and the video is a total train wreck ... centered on the caboose, of course.

Graziano tells TMZ she sought out fat-sucking lipo doc Ayman Shahine to harvest gobs of fat from her butt and lower back to re-shape her ass. As we told you ... GG from "Shahs of Sunset" also got a butt lift recently.

The Story of Spero and the Bath Ave. Boys


DiMichele Pleads Guilty Again, Agrees to $40G Restitution

Alicia DiMichele is due to plead guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court next month for stealing union funds, the newspapers reported today.

We'll believe it when it happens, as this case has been fraught with twists and turns.

This means DiMichele will change her plea yet again in order to agree to pay $40,000 in restitution to Teamsters Local 282 for embezzling funds "— but her brother had to step in Tuesday to write the first check," the New York Daily News reported
Brother Anthony wrote a check out for the initial restitution payment of $20,000.
As noted, Judge Sandra Townes allowed DiMichele to change her not guilty plea because the judge had decided to impose a restitution amount even larger than the hefty $116,000 prosecutors were then seeking.

The parties had originally agreed to an amount of $20,000. Basically, Townes prompted DiMichele to agree to pay twice the amount of the original agreement.

For Alleged Colombo Capo, Crime Really Does Pay

John Staluppi, an American yachtsman supposedly known as much for his love of James Bond action films as yachts, is building up a super fleet of megayachts.

Diamonds Are Forever is his latest addition, and at 200 feet and with four decks, it is Staluppi’s largest megayacht to date. The ship's luxurious design includes two panoramic master suites and four guest staterooms; it even includes a central elevator.

Staluppi -- yacht owner and James Bond aficionado -- was identified by the FBI as a member of the Colombo family back in the early 1990s. An informer told the Feds Staluppi switched sides during the Colombo war in 1992, which quite a few guys did after potential usurper Vittorio Orena, with whom Staluppi had been aligned, was arrested.

But Staluppi still seems to have made it in the macro world, to the extent that the media seems to know him better as a yachtsman and a car dealer and a lover of 007 action flicks -- than as a mobster.

A source, a former law enforcement official,…

New York Has Five Families, But New Jersey Had More

In 2002, South Philadelphia mob associate John "Johnny Gongs" Casasanto wanted to join one of New York's Five Families, the Gambino crime family. He appeared to have  an "in": he'd met the family's acting boss while in prison.

But Johnny Gongs never left Philly's mean streets (probably because he liked the ladies too much, especially married ones; in fact, he reputedly banged one mob wife too many).

Johnny Gongs 2003 murder remains unsolved.

Former Gambino associate John Alite told authorities he had met with Casasanto several times after Casasanto came home from prison in 2002. According to Casasanto, John A. (Junior) Gotti wanted Alite to bring him to New York "to introduce him to a couple of guys . . . to get him straightened out," Alite testified.

But Alite said he didn't go along with the program. "I met with him after that and I said, 'Johnny, you'll get killed in New York. Every corner there's guys, not like i…